´╗┐TAFSEER: Suratul-Faatihah- A Summary

From the most amazing qualities of this suraah is that despite it being a short surah, its message is profound and all encompassing. For this reason it is known as the quintessence of the Qur’aan. Furthermore, it contains a refutation of many principle innovations advocated by various sects in our times. This is clearly apparent in the verse, ‘Guide us to the Straight Path’ for the Straight Path refers to the truth and giving this truth preference over ones desires and all other ideologies and beliefs. This truth is embodied in the Sunnah of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and the way of the Companions. Any deviation no matter how insignificant and small it may seem from this way is most definitely misguidance and goes against the very teachings of this suraah.
Specifically we see that Suratul Faatihah:

1. Establishes the need for Prophethood
This can be seen in the verse, ‘Lord of the Universe,’ for it does not befit One with such a description that He leave His creation wondering aimlessly, without guidance.
It can also be seen from the verse, ‘Master of the Day of Judgement,’ for this is the Day on which the servants will be judged for their deeds – punished for their transgressions and rewarded for their obedience. However they are in need of knowing what obedience and disobedience are. And this can only be taught by the Messengers (A.S.) sent by Allah Ta’ala.

It can also be seen from the verse, ‘You Alone we worship,’ for worship consists only of that which Allah Ta’ala Loves and is Pleased with. The servants have no way of knowing this except through the Prophets.
It can also be seen from the verse, ‘Guide us to the Straight Path,’ for guidance consists of clarification followed by the tawfeeq of enacting it. Here again the need of Prophets is indispensable.

2. It refutes the proponents of Wahdatul Wajud (Unity of Being)
Those who state that there is no distinction between the created and Creator, that the servant is the Lord, that there is no King and subjects, that there is no worshipper and worshipped etc…
This Surah refutes this misbelief from beginning to end in words that are too clear to require further explanation.

3. It refutes the Majus and the Qadariyyah (Two sects).
Those who, in effect, affirm two lords. Those who state that their actions have no link to the qadr of Allah Ta’ala, that actions are not created and that they arise by the complete free will of the servants. This implies that Allah Ta’ala is not the Lord over their actions and as such the affirmation of Lordship in this Surah refutes them. In the words, ‘Your Aid Alone we seek’ also lies a clear refutation of the above, for by saying these words we are seeking aid for performing that which must be under His control and authority.

4. It refutes the Jahmiyyah (those who deny the Attributes of Allah Ta’ala)
This can be seen in our praising Him for praise necessitates the affirmation of everything that He is praised for such as His Perfect Attributes.
Also it affirms the Attribute of Mercy and this further includes affirmation of Attributes that are necessary for this to exist such as Life, Will, Ability/Power, Hearing and Seeing.
It also affirms the Lordship and Majesty of Allah Ta’ala which in turn necessitates the affirmation of His Actions. Similarly it affirms the Lordship of Allah Ta’ala and this necessitates the affirmation of Perfect descriptions both of His Essence as well as Actions.

5. It refutes those who worship others besides Allah Ta’ala
As can be clearly seen in the verse, ‘You Alone we worship and Your Aid Alone we seek.’
It can also be seen in the verse, ‘Guide us to the Straight Path’ for this is the path of those who have actualised Tawheed.

6. It refutes the Jabariyyah (those who say that man is coerced and forced by his taqdeer-no matter what he does this destiny cannot be changed or altered).
This can be seen in our praising Him for this necessitates that He would not punish His servants for that which they have no choice in or something that is beyond their ability.
This can also been understood in the affirmation of His Mercy.

This can also be seen in the affirmation of worship and its attribution to the servants, ‘we worship.’

7. It refutes those who say that the creation is eternal This can be seen in our praising Him, for this necessarily implies the affirmation of His Actions. It can also be seen in the affirmation of His Lordship over the Aalam (worlds) which, as has preceded, is everything besides Allah Ta’ala. Hence the creation is subjugated by a Lord (marboob) and anything that is subjugated must necessarily be created. Something that is created must have come into existence at some time. It can also be seen in the affirmation of His Tawheed for this necessitates that none of His creation share in any of His specific qualities of Lordship.

The last verse of this great surah places mankind into three dividing categories: those who have been favoured, those who have earned Anger and those who have been misguided. The first category is those who traverse the Straight Path, who follow the truth and there is no doubt that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah Ta’ala (S.A.W.) fitted this description better than the rest. It is impossible that the Companions be ignorant of the truth whilst others know it, or that the Companions reject it and they take to it!
Furthermore we see the effects of all other deviant groups showing us who is upon the truth and who is on falsehood. We see the Companions conquering the lands of the disbelievers and making them the lands of Islam. We see them conquering the hearts by the Qur`aan, correct knowledge and guidance. Therefore their effects show that they are upon the Straight Path.

However we see the opposite effects in the other groups in every time and place, and history is the greatest testimony to this – how they aided the enemies of Islaam against the Muslim. How many tragedies amongst the Muslims they were guilty of, how many Mosques were deserted and Qur`aanic texts burnt, how many Muslims and their scholars were killed due to them.
It is due to all of this that the Straight Path has been explained by some scholars to be the way of Hadrat Abu Bakr and Umar (R.A.) as mentioned previously.

We bring you to the end of the tafseer of this great surah of the Qur’aan. And all praise and thanks are due to Allaah, the Lord of the Universe. We beg of Allah Ta’ala’s forgiveness for not being able to do justice to the commentary of a surah that encompasses the message of the entire Qur’aan. May Allah Ta’ala pardon us and grant us the taufeeq of acting on its message, Aameen.


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